7th September 2003
This picture is a watershed... I have placed it for the moment as the first picture in the series that make up this site although that may well change in the future.
It sits here because it is one of the first landscapes I made with a digital camera as opposed to film. Most of my work before this point had been in monochrome with a few transparencies taken when the subject demanded colour treatment.
I worked in monochrome so much because I found colour film far too limiting. In the darkroom a monochrome negative is just the start of a process full of expressive opportunity.
However that is not the only reason this image is a watershed. For personal reasons I had not seriously used any of my cameras since the beginning of 1996 which was a year of profound changes for me.
The Carles, that is their proper name by the way, is in my opinion the finest stone circle in England. I have lost count of the times I have stood in this spot and watched the light caress the stones and the mountains around them. Interestingly it is also one of the first landscapes I photographed in film about eighteen years before this picture.
So what happened? Well I bought a little Nikon compact because I needed some pictures for my Lore and Saga web site and the whole film/print/scan thing was just taking too long.
I really didn’t take it too seriously as there was obviously no way a compact, even a so called “prosumer” one like this could compare to the medium or large format cameras I was used to using. Except for one point... You might have noticed I wasn’t actually using them.
The reason I took this shot with the Nikon instead of the Bronica is that I only had mono film with me and it was obviously a colour morning.
It wasn’t until October when I took another shot of Hodges Close that I re-examined this shot, cropped it a bit, and started to consider it as anything other than a snapshot.
Little did I realise at the time that this little digital camera was going to revitalise my photography.